What to see in Florence: a bit of the city’s history
The city of Florence was originally a fortified area located between the roads leading to the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea and those leading to the Apennines, joined to run along the Arno valley.
In ancient times it was an Etruscan locality, dependent on Fiesole. Later the Etruscan civilization was subdued by the Roman Empire, which during several colonization campaigns succeeded in founding Florentia on the ashes of the Etruscan settlement.
After the fall of the Roman Empire, Florence was besieged several times by Goths and Byzantines. In the Middle Ages it managed to eclipse Fiesole through its agricultural wealth and an important center of communication.
Worth mentioning among the most important families in the city of Florence is the Medici family, which ruled in the city for as many as 350 years During this period Florence increased its economic power and became the epicenter of world culture and art.
After the Congress of Vienna, Tuscany became one of the regions of the Kingdom of Italy, and Florence was the capital of the Kingdom of Italy from 1865 to 1871.
In 1966, the city of Florence was shaken by a tragic calamity such as the flood, which to this day is remembered as one of the events that most affected the city.
Florence is definitely one of the most beautiful cities in Italy, among the places to visit at least once in a lifetime Strolling through the streets of Florence is a unique experience as the city is full of ancient palaces, sculptures a everywhere art is present! Among other things, the historic center can be visited completely on foot with ease.
There are several things to see in Florence, so if this is your first time visiting the city here is a guide to the top 5 attractions there!
1. Florence Cathedral and Brunelleschi’s Dome
Florence Cathedral, or the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, is one of the largest churches in Europe, with its three naves, white and green marble exterior facades, and its interior dominated by monumental frescoes.
Upon entering the Cathedral we can see that the decoration of the upper part of the drum is unfinished. This is because, the work begun by Baccio D’Agnolo, had little approval from the people and so work was suspended before the artist completed the drum.
The cathedral together with Brunelleschi’s Dome, which is divided into eight segments, the Golden Ball and the Lantern, is one of the most visited attractions in the city, so we recommend that you purchase priority admission or even a guide who will accompany you on the tour in Italian to the cathedral and the dome.
2. Palazzo Vecchio and Piazza della Signoria
Piazza della Signoria is one of the most famous and historic squares in Florence. It is a short walk from the Duomo and here you can admire the Neptune Fountain and the Equestrian Statue of Cosimo I de’ Medici.
Prominent among the various buildings is the Palazzo Vecchio, the seat of the First Citizen of Florence and where some municipal buildings are located. But here you will also find the 94-meter-high Tower of Arnolfo, from the top of which there is a wonderful view. Here, too, we recommend that you purchase priority entrance with a video guide.
3. Ponte Vecchio
The Ponte Vecchio is one of the symbols of Florence and is considered one of the most beautiful bridges in the world. This bridge crosses the Arno River and connects the historic center of Florence with the eastern part of the city.
On the Ponte Vecchio you can find fine goldsmith stores selling wonderful jewelry. In addition, the central part of the bridge is open for people to enjoy a fantastic view of the river and the city.
It is easily accessible on foot from Piazza Duomo and the Uffizi. Click here for more directions!
4. Uffizi Gallery
The Uffizi Gallery is definitely one of the most beautiful museums in Italy, in fact every year it attracts thousands of tourists who come from all over the world to admire unique works prsenti inside the museum.
The building in which the Uffizi is housed was designed by Giorgio Vasari, and inside you can admire some of the world’s best-known works, such as Botticelli’s Birth of Venus and Primavera, Titian’s Venus of Urbino, Leonardo da Vinci’s Annunciation and other works by Giotto, Michelangelo, Caravaggio and other important artists.
Every year, the Uffizi Gallery is one of the most visited museums in Italy, so we recommend that you purchase a ticket with priority or scheduled admission.
5. Pitti Palace and Boboli Gardens
The Pitti Palace and Boboli Gardens are included in the Uffizi Gallery complex and are located on the opposite bank of the Arno River. These two attractions are interconnected, so you are often even able to visit them together on the same day.
The structure of the Pitti Palace is very compressed in fact its visit will take you some time. Within it you can admire priceless works and visit the Palatine Gallery, the Royal Apartments where the De Medici family lived, the Gallery of Modern Art, and several museums: the Silver Museum, the Fashion and Costume Museum, and the Porcelain Museum A single entrance ticket will give you access to all areas.
The beautiful Boboli Gardens is located behind the Pitti Palace where you can take a wonderful walk after visiting the Palace (online admission ticket). It was realized at the behest of Cosimo I de’ Medici and covers 45,000 square meters. It can be accessed through 4 entrances, but if you visited the Pitti Palace first then you will enter through the main gate in Piazza de’ Pitti.
The garden is very extensive and has many things to see including plants, sculptures, grottos and fountains. Among the most beautiful fountains is the Vasca del Nettuno, with a large statue of Neptune in the center. Toward the end of the park, however, is the Ocean Fountain, featuring several statues and plants.
Behind the Neptune Basin, at the top of the steps, you can also visit the Porcelain Museum. In addition, from here and from Forte di Belvedere you can enjoy a wonderful view of all the surroundings.
What to see in Florence: Conclusion
Through this article we wanted to propose to you the main things to see in Florence that you should definitely visit if you stay in this beautiful city. It can be said that the whole city is a work of art and one last one we can give you is this: to better admire the Ponte Vecchio you could cross other bridges such as the Ponte Santa Trinità and the Ponte alle Grazie. Walk through the streets of Florence always with the desire to savor the wonders of the city and you will not regret it!